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Thread: Wireless intercom or something - thoughts?

  1. #1
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    Wireless intercom or something - thoughts?

    Hi All,

    We live out in the boonies and the front gate to the property is about a quarter mile away. When we get deliveries, UPS, FedEx etc, they leave stuff at the front gate. In the good old days, this was not a problem but recently miscreants have been dogging along about 10-minutes behind the UPS trucks and picking stuff up.

    Sooooo, I am thinking of some form of door-bell or intercom that the UPS guy can press a button and alert us of a drop. However, distance to power is the issue. I can set up a small solar battery charger for the "button" end. I have seen some 1000ft+ driveway alert systems, but they run to many hundreds of bucks and out of the question.

    Any thoughts on low-cost options? So far I have...

    1:
    Have a FRS radio in a theft-proof box. The problem there is the Press-To-Talk (PTT) buttons are not that easy to manipulate unless holding the radio in your hand to curl a finger around the recessed button.

    2:
    Have a button and a bell in the house and a loooong length of speaker cable from the front gate to the house.

    Thoughts?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Lead Engineer RWOLFEJR's Avatar
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    Maybe call your local invisible dog fence installer and have them run the wire. A quarter mile run won't take them more than an hour? The wire self propelled wire installation gadget they use is slicker than snot. Toss a spool of wire on the thing... fire it up... and away you go. Rocks... roots... not a problem. Only issue I'm aware of is you need to use wire with a fairly stout insulation to avoid nicks in your line. The dog fence wire is two wire if I remember right.

    You might be able to rent a unit? I messed around with a blade on my weed wacker for about a minute before realizing it was a rediculous attempt. Then I looked at building a hitch mounted sort of mini rollover plow for my garden tractor figuring I could flip up the sod... lay the wire and flip the sod back over on it. Then I came to my senses and called the dog fence guy and paid him to do it.

    For your gate I'd think hard wired would be a better way to go?

  3. #3
    Administrator Kelly Bramble's Avatar
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    I have a similar situation, except my entry gate is only about 700' from the house and one cannot see the house from the gate for the trees. I have to keep the gate shut to keep the critters in.

    UPS, FedEX usually leave stuff just to the inside of the gate and put a delivery notice on the gate. A certain bovine friend of mine is known to mess with the packages though.

    Last week, I had a delivery from FedEX that required a signature. The FedEx gal called the number provided and the wife went down to get the package.

    I have considered putting a locked UPS/FedEX drop box down at the gate. Should work for most packages; however we do get big stuff occasionally.

    There are wireless solar charged entry gate intercomís available, but I don't think they work over long distances. See --> http://www.gateopenersunlimited.com/..._w_Keypad.html

    How about a sign that reads "All UPS/FEDEx Deliveries, please call "555 123-4567".

  4. #4
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    Bob, thanks for the thoughts, but where you live, "rocks" are obviously different to the black volcanic snot that we have around here. The smallest size encountered is about 1/2-ton per

    I originally wanted to run the 220v mains power cables underground so no power poles visible. After 7 feet of trench the local people declared it a bust. Overhead wires would be the only way and that would mean digging holes for poles with a 300-hp hole digger as the power people finally did.

    The speaker cable comment (#2 was meant as a tongue in cheek issue.

    It is wireless or nothing at the moment.

    The claimed 500ft range for that link you provided, is very optimistic on those driveway alert/intercoms etc. I have one here that I installed with two sender units and one receiver when we first moved in. Completely useless over about 150 ft max. Also $270 does not fall into what I call "low cost."
    Last edited by PinkertonD; 12-17-2012 at 01:37 PM.

  5. #5
    Administrator Kelly Bramble's Avatar
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    Google "long range outdoor wireless intercom"

    or ---> http://www.linkedin.com/company/inte...487651/product

    Not cheap though....

  6. #6
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    That multi-mile range thing would do nicely, but for about 10 packages a year it is a lot to have sitting there. Our gate is also locked to keep critters out and in. Critters like Coyote hunters etc.

    Usually there is a phone number on the package but UPS and FedEx both leave stuff without calling whether a signature is required or not.

    I too have messed with the idea of a locked box but like you Kelly, wondered about the size.

    A passive version I just thought about was a flip-card like thing on the gate that says "UPS/FedEx guy. Please flip this sign over." When flipped it would show a red panel towards the house. If I hold my head just right and lean waaaay left on one foot, I can just see the corner of the gate. I'd also have the same wording under the flip-card it so to a passing miscreant it would still show the words. But then that might confuse the drivers when the second one would not flip over.

    I might pull an FRS apart and solder in parallel a remote PTT switch with a big red button.

  7. #7
    Lead Engineer RWOLFEJR's Avatar
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    I got it...!!

    Build a catapult and have the delivery drivers launch your goods over the gate...
    Laminate a weight chart to the fence and give them settings that will land your goods on or near your front porch at your predetermined weight to launch settings...

    Then again...
    Might need to give it more thought...?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by RWOLFEJR View Post
    Might need to give it more thought...?
    What? You mean like a calibrated parachute attached for a soft landing? The house is uphill of the gate so it should not have to fall far???

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